Privacy pods vs phone booths – what are the differences?

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Tips & Tricks, Products, Technology
Silen Space 1 privacy pod in an office

Open offices offer unparalleled possibilities for collaboration and team building. But these benefits to human relationships are often weighed down by the lack of privacy. Installing a privacy pod or a phone booth into your office can help you have the best of both worlds. But which type of office booth would offer the biggest benefits for you?

What’s in a word?

First, let’s start with the name. Words have the power to change the way we perceive the world and utilise our environments, so the terms applied to the tools we use can directly have an effect on how we see and use them.

When bringing a „phone box” into your office, the name will immediately give a clear sign that this  phone booth is generally meant for phone calls and not for other things. Even when the said booth is comfortable enough for you to spend more time in there, if needed. At the same time, the name “privacy pod” implies a wider meaning and probably makes that office pod automatically used for wider purposes. That’s just something to keep in mind.

Reasons behind your privacy need

We are all concerned about our privacy on one level or another. Not only do we want our lives not to be accessible to strangers online, we also don’t want our conversations to be overheard or for those conversations to disturb someone else’s ability to focus.

People who work full time in the office tend to spend about one-third of their awake time in their workspace. Since noise annoyance comes down to individual perception of sound levels, it is impossible to come up with a set of office rules that would bring the environmental background noise to a suitable level for everyone. In order for everyone to have an equal opportunity to focus, more and more companies are installing office phone booths or meeting pods to their premises.

When starting to choose between a phone box and an office pod, ask yourself why do you need a private space in your office in the first place. Do you mostly need it for uninterrupted phone calls? Or is your need for privacy more related to the lack of work space where people – individuals or small teams – can come together and focus hard on the task at hand.

You might need an office phone booth when…

Having one or two office phone booths in your workplace can bring a sense of well-being to everyone using them. Even if you don’t use your phone booth daily, just knowing that you have the option to leave the background noise behind and enter your sphere of silence can have a positive impact on one’s stress levels.

On top of that, most of us feel more free and confident when our private-personal (doctors, girlfriends, landlords!) or private-work conversations are not overheard by our colleagues.

Consider installing an office phone booth or two, when:

  • Your employees need occasional shelter from an open, exposed office space

  • At least one person in your team needs to make or receive regular phone calls

  • At least one person in your team needs to engage in deep concentration work on a daily basis

  • You have more than 7 people in your office

A privacy pod is probably needed when…

A meeting pod is one of the simplest ways to provide people working in an open plan office with some much-needed personal space. People value their employer higher if they can choose where and how they work, so having an office pod available for everyone to use gives a big thumbs up for your entire work culture.

You should consider installing an office pod or two, when:

  • Your employees need occasional shelter from an open, exposed office space

  • Your business model is built on frequent interactions between the team members (meetings, collaborations, etc.)

  • Brainstorming sessions are a regular thing

  • There are people in your team whose work often requires sessions of privacy

  • You notice a lot of your people roaming the corridors with their phones, looking for private corners

How to choose your pod size?

As you have probably noticed, office pods come in many sizes. There are privacy pods for one person, as well as pods for groups of 2, 6 and even 8. The smaller pods are ideal for intense dialogues between two people while the larger meeting pods are ideally suited for those moments when you need to get all your creative minds together to embark on a wild idea hunt. But how to plan ahead for the conversations you will have in the future?

We know, it is not possible to know how many people need to talk about a certain topic in a half a year’s time. However, with your company’s general strategy for the upcoming year in mind, you can opt for an office pod which can be easily adapted when the crowd who uses it grows or diminishes in size. For example, Silen pod sizes can be easily upgraded by adding another module, so you don’t have to throw away your current product or create extra waste.

Office booth can save the day!

Gone are the days when pressing yourself into any type of office booth felt like trying to squeeze into a coffin that already smelled (and also sounded!) weird. These days, even phone booths or pods meant for a single person can have comfortable seating, silent air circulation and interior materials that make your time spent in the booth pleasant and productive. And all you need to keep in mind is that your colleagues might want to use it as well. 🙂